Sinatra: An American Icon

In 2014 we were commissioned by the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles and the Sinatra Family to create Sinatra: An American Icon” the official exhibit of the 2015 Frank Sinatra Centennial. The exhibit debuted at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2015, receiving praise from publications such as The New York Times, Associated Press, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. The exhibit will subsequently travel to major cities including Los Angeles and Miami.

As the only official exhibit celebrating Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday, the GRAMMY Museum and the Sinatra Family aimed to examine not only Sinatra’s iconic place in American music history, but what it was like to know him personally. This exhibit provided even the most devoted, knowledgeable Sinatra fans something new and unique to experience.

When brainstorming how our team could visually sum up 100 years of Sinatra’s life, we agreed that the best way to tell his story was by tracing it in chronological order, from his start in Hoboken, New Jersey, to the meteoric rise of his music career and his Hollywood success.

We placed video and audio recordings throughout the exhibit that explore some of Sinatra’s biggest hit records and films, and installed a recreation of the historic Studio A at the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood where visitors can take control of the soundboard to reproduce the arrangement for one of Sinatra’s classic hits. The experience is made all the more real with a glass of Jack Daniel’s that rests on the seat and the sound of studio chatter among Sinatra and his sound engineers. With Sinatra’s voice ringing out from all corners of the exhibit, visitors are transported to some of the most important stops along Sinatra’s career. We even rebuilt an old-fashioned Hoboken trolley car that makes visitors ask, Where am I?